Brown’s Conservatives stand by Wynne’s hydro scheme as Libs hide costs and emails: NDP

As the Wynne Liberals attempt to hide the costs of their widely criticized hydro borrowing scheme, Conservative Energy critic Todd Smith has confirmed that Patrick Brown would leave Wynne’s costly program in place – one that will leave Ontarians paying billions in interest to private investors for decades to come.

On Tuesday, the Auditor General released a damning report on the Wynne Liberal’s hydro plan, highlighting that Ontario families and businesses will be charged $4 billion extra in order for Wynne to hide the debt her hydro scheme piles on. On Wednesday, when asked by media if a Conservative government would keep the plan in place, Smith said they would.

Wynne government must come to grips with public safety crisis facing cyclists, vulnerable road users: DiNovo

On Thursday, Parkdale-High Park NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo released the following statement regarding the death of a cyclist in Parkdale and the need to protect vulnerable road users:  

“Yesterday, tragedy unfolded in Parkdale when a cyclist was struck and killed by an out of control pickup truck. A family lost a husband, son, father and brother. And our community lost yet another cyclist—one of many vulnerable road users that are struck by vehicles each year. 

Wynne government ignored massive sour gas flaring in Sarnia, dismissing the concerns of families and First Nations: NDP

During question period Thursday, Ontario NDP Environment and Climate Change critic Peter Tabuns called on the Wynne government to stop ignoring the concerns of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Sarnia families and to finally launch an investigation into a massive flaring incident at a petroleum refinery earlier this year, as well as the provincial government’s response to the incident. Tabuns’ question comes as an application was filed with the Environmental Commissioner calling for an investigation into the incident, which released large burning plumes of toxic gases that terrified nearby residents.

“The applicants allege that on February 23 of this year, a malfunction at a petroleum refinery in Chemical Valley resulted in massive flaring that continued for 10 days,” said Tabuns. “During this incident, residents in Aamjiwnaang and south Sarnia were unable to get any response from the ministry about what was going on and whether they were in any danger.”

Libs fail to act on Niagara River sewage dumping: NDP

Despite multiple letters to the Ministry of Environment, the Wynne Liberals are refusing to take action on raw sewage being dumped in the Niagara River, says Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates.

“This summer, I sent this government a letter asking them to investigate the concerns of the dumping of raw sewage into the Niagara River. It took this government almost one full month and another letter to even reply,” said Gates during question period this morning. “When the Minister of the Environment finally replied, he simply told me this was an American issue. Since that time, raw sewage has been dumped again into the Niagara River a number of times.”

Brown’s Conservatives stand by Wynne’s hydro scheme as Libs hide costs and emails: NDP

As the Wynne Liberals attempt to hide the costs of their widely criticized hydro borrowing scheme, Conservative Energy critic Todd Smith has confirmed that Patrick Brown would leave Wynne’s costly program in place – one that will leave Ontarians paying billions in interest to private investors for decades to come.

On Tuesday, the Auditor General released a damning report on the Wynne Liberal’s hydro plan, highlighting that Ontario families and businesses will be charged $4 billion extra in order for Wynne to hide the debt her hydro scheme piles on. On Wednesday, when asked by media if a Conservative government would keep the plan in place, Smith said they would.

Empty Liberal promises leave millions without dental care: NDP

NDP Health critic France Gélinas says the Wynne Liberals are failing up to 3 million Ontarians by failing to provide dental care for low-income adults.

“Community health centres know that in Ontario today up to three million people cannot get the dental care that they need. Why? Because they cannot afford to pay for it and there is no government support to help them,” explained Gélinas.

Horwath to Wynne: release the emails, tell Ontarians why you’re charging $4B extra on hydro bills

NDP motion Wednesday will force disclosure

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding that the Wynne Liberals release emails examined by the Auditor General in her recent investigation of Kathleen Wynne’s $40 billion hydro borrowing scheme.

NDP releases more documents showing hospital overcrowding across Ontario

NDP obtains more FOI docs showing occupancy well above safe levels in Brantford, unfunded beds in Peterborough

The Ontario NDP has released new information that shows constant overcrowding at both Brantford General Hospital and Peterborough Regional Health Centre – the latest in a long string of internal documents obtained by the NDP that show hospitals around the province are horribly overcrowded and being forced to treat Ontarians in hallways and broom closets.

NDP statement on Auditor General’s report

NDP Energy critic Peter Tabuns issued the following statement regarding the Auditor-General’s report on the Wynne Liberal’s hydro plan:

“The Auditor General has confirmed that Kathleen Wynne's hydro borrowing scheme will cost Ontarians $40 billion, and that Kathleen Wynne will charge families $4 billion, just for the accounting tricks she's using to cover up just how bad this plan is.

Horwath: Wynne Liberals must stop Fort Erie track troubles

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was in Fort Erie Tuesday to watch the final race of the season at the Fort Erie Racetrack; and to join Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop, track officials and Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates to discuss the long-term financial security of the horseracing industry in the Niagara region.

“The track is vital to Fort Erie’s economy,” said Horwath.  “We need to make sure that there are enough race days to keep the industry healthy. The Wynne Liberals allowed problematic new stabling policies to hurt Fort Erie – and it’s incumbent on them to fix that before this track is devastated, jobs are lost and the local economy suffers.”

Air quality at risk as Libs fail to enforce pollution standards: NDP

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the Wynne Liberals owe Hamilton residents an explanation – and action – after a toxic steam cloud was released by a steel mill recently.

“Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a toxic and foul-smelling cloud was emitted from the ArcelorMittal Dofasco site in Hamilton, sending a dark plume over the surrounding neighbourhoods as families were trying to enjoy their holidays. This is the latest example of what is known in the steel industry as a process called ‘coffining,’” explained Horwath, the MPP for Hamilton-Centre this morning during question period.

Horwath demands to know when Wynne learned of toxic Chemical Valley spills

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding to know when Kathleen Wynne learned about the unending series of toxic chemical leaks in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, and why she and the Liberals took no action when a plume of toxic benzene was released into a residential neighbourhood.

“The premier must explain why the people of Sarnia were not warned by the Ministry of the Environment about a cancer-causing chemical wafting toward their front doors and why they didn’t send an investigator in after the spill to figure out what went wrong,” Horwath said Monday during the legislature’s question period.

Horwath: Niagara children face alarming wait times for mental health services

Ontario NDP Leader calling for a standalone Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath met with the Pathstone Mental Health team at the Branscombe Mental Health Centre in St. Catharines, and renewed her commitment fix Ontario’s fractured mental health system after hearing about alarmingly long wait times for children in need of mental health care.

Wynne Liberals keep refusing to make changes to help Sears workers

Oshawa NDP MPP Jennifer French released the following statement in response to the Sears Canada proposal to close all Canadian stores and lay off approximately 12,000 employees:

“The news of Sears Canada's closure is the latest in a series of blows to workers and pensioners at Sears Canada. Thousands of families find themselves out of work, struggling to get by without severance and at risk of losing their pension. Hardworking families in my community of Oshawa and communities throughout Ontario have had their world turned upside down, only to be let down by their government when they need it most.

Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on departures of Matthews, Sandals

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement regarding announcements by two more of Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet ministers that they will not be running for re-election in 2018:

“I’d like to thank both President of the Treasury Board Liz Sandals and Deputy Premier Deb Matthews for their years of public service.

Wynne plays politics with women’s choice

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French released the following statement calling on Kathleen Wynne to apologize for playing politics with women’s choice:

“Today, Ontario’s three political parties had an opportunity to create legal and mandatory Safe Zones around clinics and hospitals that offer women’s health care including medical abortions, keeping women safe from harassment, intimidation or coercion. It didn’t happen because the Wynne Liberals and Patrick Brown Conservatives chose, instead, to play politics with women’s rights.

NDP to Wynne: Every child matters—support Indigenous children living with mental health challenges

During question period Thursday, Ontario’s NDP critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Michael Mantha demanded that the Wynne government answer the call of northern First Nations communities struggling to access mental health services.

“If a family lives in Sault Ste. Marie, Blind River or Elliott Lake, they have direct access to Algoma Family Services children’s mental health services. However, if a family lives on a First Nation, they receive no children’s mental health services from Algoma Family Services,” said Mantha.

By rejecting paid leave, Wynne Liberals leave victims of violence trapped

NDP Labour, Fairness, and Work critic Cindy Forster says the Wynne Liberals have turned their backs on victims of intimate partner violence by rejecting calls for paid leave.

“This morning the Liberal government made it clear they don’t intend to support the NDP’s push for paid leave for victims of intimate partner violence, despite clear evidence that too many women are afraid to escape because they simply cannot afford to,” said Forster during question period.

Horwath, Fife renew call for broad inquiry into long-term care

Kitchener woman says care comes at a price and still lets her family down

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath joined Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife this morning to discuss the ongoing crisis in seniors long-term care in Ontario. Horwath again called for a broad, two-part inquiry into seniors care across the province, stemming from the circumstances of the Wettlaufer murders, and expanding to include an investigation into staffing levels, funding and safety conditions in long-term care homes.

“Seniors in Waterloo region are waiting months to get in to care, and once they find a room, many aren’t getting the care they need. Residents are being left in bed for 18 hours at a time, and don’t always get the basic help they need to make it to the bathroom on time or change their clothes regularly,” said Horwath. “Our loved ones deserve care that protects their safety, health and their dignity, and we need to find and fix these issues immediately.”

Horwath and Fife were joined by Kitchener resident Vicki McFarlane whose husband and mother both live in long-term care homes in the region.

More long-term care home troubles should be a wake-up call for government: NDP

With news that three more seniors care homes are no longer allowed to accept new residents because of serious problems in those homes, NDP Home and Long-Term Care critic and London-Fanshawe MPP Teresa Armstrong asked the Wynne Liberals again Wednesday to finally hear the calls from Ontario families, and investigate and fix the systemic problems in seniors care.

“This morning we learned that three long-term care homes in Ontario have been ordered to stop accepting new residents,” said Armstrong. “The conditions in these homes are horrific – complaints range from inappropriate food and severe understaffing, to violence in one home that went unreported to police for days. Seniors in London, Mississauga and Fergus deserve better than this.”

Liberals okay hydro hike to fund private profit, CEO pay: NDP

NDP Energy critic Peter Tabuns says Kathleen Wynne’s ongoing privatization of Hydro One has left Ontario hydro users facing another huge rate increase, at the same time as Hydro One executives and investors take home massive pay and profits.

“Last week, the Ontario Energy Board released a preliminary decision on Hydro One’s transmission rate increase. The OEB gave Hydro One nearly everything it asked for, and we remain on track for a huge jump in transmission rates next year,” explained Tabuns during question period.

Tillsonburg Hospital operating above safe capacity

Today Ontario NDP Health critic MPP France Gélinas released new information that shows constant overcrowding at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital (TDMH) – even reaching 123 per cent capacity in acute care – and called on Kathleen Wynne to undo the damage she has done to Ontario’s hospitals.

 The Tillsonburg documents are the latest in a long string of papers obtained by the NDP that show hospitals around the province are horribly overcrowded.

Horwath, Jeffrey meet to discuss crisis in Brampton hospitals

Today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey met to discuss the Mayor’s priorities for Brampton and Peel Region – including potential solutions for the crisis in overcrowding and hallway gridlock at Brampton Civic Hospital. 

“I’d like to thank Mayor Jeffrey for taking the time to meet with me today to discuss her priorities for Brampton,” said Horwath. “Overcrowding and gridlock in the hallways has become the standard at Brampton Civic Hospital. This is a major concern for Brampton families, and finding a solution is a top priority for Mayor Jeffrey.

Horwath raises Ottawa seniors care concerns at Queen’s Park

In question period today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on Premier Wynne to address the wide-spread and urgent systemic issues in long-term care following news of a senior in care being verbally attacked in Ottawa – another in a barrage of stories from families concerned about their loved ones.

“Last week in Ottawa there was yet another incident in a home, this time involving verbal abuse of a senior in care,” said Horwath. “These stories keep coming up. Every day I hear from family members who tell me about the horrific conditions their loved ones face in care. The issues in long-term care are systemic – they stretch to every corner of this province.”

NDP: Libs must address hospital overcrowding crisis immediately

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath demanded Monday that the Wynne Liberals take immediate action to address the overcrowding and hallway medicine crisis in Ontario’s hospitals.

“Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Brampton, Sick Kids and six additional hospitals in Toronto are all over capacity and dealing with the need to use ‘unconventional beds’,” said Horwath. “Let’s be clear, unconventional beds mean hallways and broom closets. These people and their families may be having the worst day of their lives – leaving them in a hallway for days is not right. It’s certainly not what’s best for them.” 

Statement from Andrea Horwath on terrorist attacks.

 This morning, Ontario’s Members of Provincial Parliament will observe a moment of silence for victims of terrorism. I’m heading into the Assembly with a heavy heart, and my mind on those in Edmonton and Las Vegas who came under attack while they were simply going about their lives. Hate, violence and prejudice have no place in Canada, or anywhere in the world. I hope we commit, together, not to allow our communities to be torn apart by these attacks. As Ontarians, Canadians, and citizens of the world, we must stand united against hate. Ontario’s New Democrats extend our deepest sympathies to the victims, families and communities that have been rocked by these vicious acts of terrorism.”

Statement from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Orange Shirt Day

Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario NDP, has released the following statement on Orange Shirt Day:

“Today, I join Ontarians and Canadians in marking Orange Shirt Day to show that every child matters, to honour the survivors of residential schools, and to recommit to reconciliation. 

Closures of rural long-term care homes devastating communities: NDP

Ontario NDP critic for Home and Long-Term Care Teresa Armstrong will attend a town hall meeting in Stratford this Saturday, Sept. 30,  to address the pending closure of Hillside Manor in Perth East and its devastating impact on the local community. The closure of the long-term care facility will redistribute up to 50 of the facility’s 90 long-term beds to another care home in London while the residual beds will be re-distributed within the vast Southwest Local Health Integrated Network.

“The closure of Hillside Manor will force long-term care residents out of their communities and families to travel significant distances just to spend time with their loved ones,” said Armstrong. “Smaller homes in rural communities need more resources than larger facilities. There needs to be a consistency of quality in care homes in every community in Ontario so homes like Hillside Manor can remain open and so our seniors aren’t being displaced from their communities.”

Statement from Andrea Horwath on Yom Kippur

On behalf of all New Democrats, I would like to extend our wishes for an easy, meaningful fast to all Ontarians observing Yom Kippur.

The Day of Atonement – the holiest day in the Jewish calendar – is a time for humility, self-reflection, and a chance to reflect on past challenges. In this self-examination, we find new hope, as we work to improve ourselves, our communities, and the world.

NDP: Liberal gov’t dragging feet, violating human rights on non-binary ID

NDP LGBTQ Issues Critic Cheri DiNovo says the Wynne Liberals are violating the rights of non-binary Ontarians by failing to issue gender neutral identity documents.

“Today, Joshua M. Ferguson will be filing a human rights application over the delay in issuing a non-binary birth certificate by this government. In May, I asked the government about Joshua’s application to amend the sex designation on their birth certificate,” said DiNovo during question period.

“ServiceOntario’s birth certificate application should take no more than six weeks, but Joshua’s application has been ‘pending’ for over four months.”

MPP Fife calls on Liberal government to fund naloxone kits for front-line workers

During question period Thursday, Kitchener-Waterloo NDP MPP Catherine Fife called on the Liberal government to provide emergency funding to the Waterloo Region Police Services for naloxone kits.
“Between January and August of this year, 42 people have died of opioid overdoses,” said Fife. “It is clear that there is an increasing strain on public emergency services to respond to opioid-related incidents in Waterloo Region and, indeed, across Ontario.”

To address the increasing number of opioid fatalities in the Region, Bryan Larkin, Chief of Waterloo Region Police Services and President of the Ontario Association of Police Chiefs, ordered $43,000 worth of naloxone doses. This summer, naloxone was administered by police six times, saving four lives. The other two doses were administered to officers who were exposed to fentanyl.
“The well-being of officers is compromised when they come into contact with narcotics and require medical attention,” said Fife. “Simply put, this is a matter of workplace health and safety for front-line workers. It is a public health crisis. It is time for this province to catch up to this crisis.”
“Can the government commit today to providing emergency funding for naloxone for front-line services, which is what they deserve?” asked Fife.

Neither the Minister of Health & Long-term Care or Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services committed to funding naloxone kits for front-line workers in their response to MPP Fife’s question.

Horwath: It’s time to protect survivors of domestic and sexual assault

This morning at Queen’s Park, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath introduced a private members bill that will extend 10 days paid leave to people who experience domestic or sexual violence. “It’s time to protect survivors,” said Horwath. “By giving people 10 days of paid leave as well as up to 15 weeks of unpaid leave, we’re giving them one of the pieces they may need to get their lives back.” The bill would provide time off for survivors to get to safety, speak to police, participate in court proceedings and get medical care including mental health care. For many, taking time to do those things could cost them a paycheque or even their job.  “Too often, survivors are left alone, without the options and without the protections they need to get out of violent relationships. That’s just not right,” said Horwath. “No one in this province should have to pay a price for looking out for their own safety or the safety of their kids. By passing this bill, we can make sure that no woman has to choose between her job and her safety.” Under the NDP proposal, the provincial government will cover the cost of extending paid leave to survivors – believing that ending intimate partner violence is the responsibility of everyone. “We have a collective responsibility to give survivors the support and protection they need,” said NDP MPP and Women’s Issues critic Peggy Sattler. “Guaranteeing they can miss work without missing a paycheque removes one of the reasons that some women feel trapped in abusive relationships. It means survivors can take time to find a safe place to live without losing the income they need to pay the rent.” Horwath and Sattler were joined by Harmy Mendoza, Executive Director of the Woman Abuse Council of Toronto (Woman ACT) and Dawnmarie Harriott, a survivor of domestic violence. “When I decided to leave my abusive partner, I was forced to quit a good, steady job. I ended up on the street,” said Harriott. “This paid leave and the right to 15 weeks unpaid leave would have helped me. It would have given me the time I needed to find a safe place to live. It would have made all the difference.” “In Ontario, there have been 290 domestic homicides between 2002 and 2014,” said Mendoza. “Usually, victim’s workplaces are known by abusers. As a matter of fact, this may be the only place where the victim can be found by the abuser, especially if she already made an effort to move homes in order to keep herself safe. Giving people the time they need away from work can save lives.” Horwath’s bill builds on the work done by Sattler, who introduced similar legislation last year which was stalled at the committee stage. The NDP also brought forward amendments to proposed labour law changes this summer which would have extended paid leave to survivors.  Wynne’s Liberals voted down those crucial protections.   “Women and survivors across this province cannot wait any longer for this government to find the courage to act,” said Horwath.

NDP to Wynne: Declare opioid crisis a public health emergency

Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo is calling on Premier Wynne to officially declare the opioid crisis sweeping Ontario an emergency, in order to speed resource delivery to harm-reduction workers.

“Ontario is in the midst of an opioid overdose emergency, and it’s only getting worse. Last year, at least 865 people lost their lives to overdoses. In my riding, people are overdosing every single day,” said DiNovo during question period. 

Taxpayer-funded, partisan ads misleading Ontarians: NDP

NDP Finance critic John Vanthof says the Wynne Liberals are misleading Ontarians with taxpayer-funded ads promoting the Liberals’ hydro borrowing scheme.

“Yesterday, the premier stated that the $5.5-million hydro ad campaign, which was designed to boost Liberal polling numbers, was important because people in the province needed to know the details about government programs that are in place,” said Vanthof during question period this morning.

Overcrowding at Brampton Civic Hospital getting worse, not better

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released new information Wednesday that shows chronic overcrowding at Brampton Civic Hospital has only gotten worse in 2017, with occupancy rates in acute care stuck at over 100 per cent and reaching as high as 109 per cent. Horwath said it’s time for a government that’s focused on improving the health care Ontario families are getting – not one that cuts it. “Too many Bramptonians know firsthand that the day Brampton Civic Hospital opened, it was already overcrowded,” said Horwath. “Can you imagine if it was your child in the waiting room for hours or your mom laying in a hallway because there are no rooms left? Kathleen Wynne has turned her back on patients and the front line healthcare workers that treat them. The cuts have gone too far, in Brampton and across the province.” Horwath released numbers her office obtained through Freedom of Information requests that show Brampton Civic Hospital’s Acute Care and Mental Health beds operated above safe capacity throughout 2017. “These aren’t just numbers. These are Ontarians left waiting in pain on stretchers in hallways, with no privacy and sometimes, not even any food,” said Horwath. “Hallway medicine and long wait times are potentially dangerous, they’re painful, and they’re stripping Ontarians of their dignity.” Horwath was joined by Sunanda Dhanna who was a patient at Brampton Civic Hospital recently and who described her experience and frustration with how she was treated. “I spent two and a half days on a stretcher in various hallways at Brampton Civic,” said Dhanna, a registered nurse practicing at Trillium Health partners. “I was shuffled from hallway to hallway, once at one o’clock in the morning. I had no privacy, I couldn’t sleep because the hallways are so loud and busy, and I didn’t even get a meal for the first day and a half.  What is happening to our hospitals is unacceptable – something has to be done.”  The Ontario Hospital Association said recently that hospitals were careening towards crisis this winter, and called on the Wynne Liberals to provide immediate emergency funding for hospitals. While Wynne and the Liberals have forced years of cuts and freezes on hospitals, including a $300 million shortfall this year, Patrick Brown’s Conservative predecessor started the downward spiral. The last Conservative government fired 6,000 nurses, closed 28 hospitals and slashed over 7,000 hospital beds.  Health care is a priority for Horwath. She’s committed to properly funding Ontario hospitals at a rate that, at minimum, keeps up with inflation, population growth and the unique health needs of our communities. Horwath has demanded that the layoffs of nurses and frontline care providers stop, and has introduced a plan to create Ontario’s first universal prescription drug program. Providing drug coverage for everyone – regardless of age, income or health history – can improve health outcomes, and reduce pressure on hospitals and emergency services. 

FOI documents: 

Occupancy FOI (pdf)

Hospital Acute Beds Occupancy Rates (pdf)

DiNovo introduces new vulnerable road users legislation

NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park, Cheri DiNovo, announced Thursday the details of her new private member’s bill, one designed to prevent injuries and deaths among vulnerable road users including cyclists, pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, emergency responders on the road, and road construction workers.

“The goal of the bill is to save lives” said DiNovo. “It is aimed to reduce the numbers of fatalities and injuries involving vulnerable road users and address concern of victims.”

Wynne Liberals block Social Assistance Research Commission: NDP

NDP Poverty Reduction critic Paul Miller says Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government has been trying to block efforts to pass legislation he introduced over a year ago that would create a Social Assistance Research Commission. “This bill is going to create an evidence based research commission that would make recommendations to our government on what Ontario’s social assistance rates should be year to year  and in each region. This is an effective way to deal with poverty,” said Miller. The commission, once established, would look at how regional differences impact the cost of living and social assistance needs, as well as looking at other aspects of social assistance programs and delivery. The commission would include members knowledgeable about the economic and financial challenges faced by individuals living with disabilities, and by indigenous individuals. “The Liberals have had plenty of opportunity to pass [Bill 6]. They are letting the bill sit, preventing it from going before committee, hoping that it is going to wither and die,” said Miller. The bill was referred to committee on September 29, 2016, after passing second reading with support from all parties. Since then, the Liberals have used their majority position in committee to prevent the bill from moving forwards. Miller urged Premier Wynne to stop blocking the bill. “I stand in the House today not with a question, but a request of the Government,” said Miller. “Don’t let impoverished Ontarians continue to suffer. Do the right thing and bring Bill 6 forward!”

Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath regarding the Liberal response to the cost of hydro ads

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement regarding the Liberal government’s response when the NDP revealed documents showing the government is spending $5.5 million on advertising to counter negative media coverage of high hydro bills:

“The Wynne Liberal government is spending $5.5 million to counter people’s negative view of their high hydro bills. When asked why, Minister Liz Sandals said that ‘People find the bills quite confusing.’ 

Liberal neglect leaves students struggling in heat: NDP

NDP Education critic Peggy Sattler says years of neglect by Liberal and Conservative governments have left Ontario schools in disrepair, with students paying the price as temperatures soar.

“Today, for the fifth straight day in a row, a heat warning was issued for southern Ontario, which means an elevated risk of heat illness, especially for children. In schools without air conditioning, students and education workers have been sweltering in classrooms hotter than 30 degrees, close to 40 degrees with the humidex,” said Sattler.

Gates slams Liberal inaction on Fort Erie track

This morning in question period, Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates demanded the Liberal government intervene and protect the Fort Erie Race Track from the unfair stabling policies of Woodbine Entertainment.

“Premier, months ago I explained to you that Woodbine Entertainment had implemented a stabling policy that was designed to kill the Fort Erie Race Track and the thousands of jobs that go with it,” said Gates. “You committed to keeping Race tracks open in Ontario, including rural Ontario Tracks like Fort Erie. It’s been four months since you made that commitment. Time has run out. Will you now intervene to save the Fort Erie Race Track and the thousands of jobs that depend on it?”

Sweltering classrooms and extreme heat threaten student success: NDP Education Critic

Today, NDP Education critic Peggy Sattler issued the following statement regarding extreme classroom temperatures:

“This week, and repeatedly over the last couple of years, students have faced sweltering classroom temperatures when arriving at school. Teachers and education workers are once again forced to do their jobs in extreme heat. Parents worry that this trend will continue in the dead of winter when broken boilers can force children to wear their winter coats in the classroom just to stay warm.

New Democrats continue call to address seniors care crisis

During question period today, London-Fanshawe MPP and NDP Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Affairs critic Teresa Armstrong continued to pressure the Wynne government for an expanded long-term care inquiry in order to find and fix the systemic issues that threaten the health and safety of seniors, caregivers and long-term care staff.

“Peggy Clark of London came to Queen’s Park earlier this month to support the NDP’s call for a broad public inquiry into long-term care,” said Armstrong. “Peggy’s mother has endured crisis after crisis. She was treated with the wrong medication for three months. She was moved three times, in just six months and her personal possessions went missing. Peggy knows that frontline nurses and PSWs are doing their best, but there just aren’t enough of them to provide the care that our parents and grandparents deserve.”

New Democrats take Liberal government to task on GM layoffs

Today Niagara Falls MPP and NDP Transportation critic Wayne Gates continued to press the Liberal government to support automotive workers and their families by addressing the CAMI strike in Ingersoll—which has now caused 435 auto workers in Niagara to be laid off. 

“Over 3,000 CAMI auto workers have been on strike in Ingersoll for two weeks,” said Gates. “These workers are striking because they need GM to commit to keep building the Equinox here in Ontario.”

NDP Leader Horwath backs call for state of emergency declaration in opioid crisis

Andrea Horwath is backing the call for a state of emergency to be declared to combat the growing opioid crisis; a call that’s among the urgent measures that will be discussed today by the Toronto Board of Health.

The Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel is recommending that the Board of Health call on the provincial government to immediately declare an emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Documents reveal Wynne Libs spending $5.5 million on ads for hydro scheme

Today during question period, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath grilled the Wynne Liberals about a $5.5-million dollar ad campaign designed to sell Ontarians on their $40-billion hydro borrowing scheme.

That advertising plan was revealed in documents obtained by the NDP through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. The FOI documents also reveal the Wynne Liberals’ reason for this expensive campaign: to combat “negative media coverage of rising electricity bills.” 

Horwath says investments, not cuts, needed at hospitals

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it’s critical that the Ontario government start investing in our health care system, after years of Liberal and Conservative budget cuts and freezes have left hospitals overcrowded and families worried about their loved ones who need help.

On Friday, Horwath made that call in front of St. Joe's West 5th hospital, where 11 suicides involving in-patients and out-patients have taken place in just 18 months. Yet, another $7 million in cuts are slated to take place at St. Joe's this year as a result of the Wynne government's underfunding.

Overcrowding, funding cuts pushing Ontario hospitals to breaking point: NDP

NDP Health Critic France Gélinas says funding cuts and long wait times are compromising care for patients in her riding of Nickel Belt, and across the province.

“Health Sciences North, our hospital, provides complex treatment to people all across the northeast. Unfortunately, not only are wait times getting longer and longer, but Health Sciences North, like most other large community hospitals in our province, now has hallway medicine as the new normal,” said Gélinas. “The Ontario Hospital Association is warning that overcrowding is leading to a crisis. Even our province’s neonatal units are overcrowded and turning away our sickest of newborn babies.”

Angry Windsor flood victims caught in the gap: MPP Hatfield

During question period today, Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP Percy Hatfield demanded that the Wynne government present a plan for Windsor area flood victims who are caught in the gap between private insurance and Ontario’s disaster recovery assistance.

“People in Windsor are angry and disappointed with the government’s response to the recent flooding disaster,” said Hatfield.  “The minister of Municipal Affairs said private insurance was readily available. The insurance Bureau of Canada told him he was wrong.”

NDP Transportation critic presses Wynne government to stand up for Ontario’s auto industry

During question period today, NDP Transportation critic and Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates questioned the Liberal government regarding the ongoing strike at the Ingersoll CAMI automotive plant, which has raised concerns about automotive jobs leaving the province for production sites in Mexico. 

“There are close to 3,000 CAMI auto workers who have been on strike in Ingersoll since last week. I visited them last night,” said Gates. “It’s obvious this province has no auto strategy, which means companies across Ontario can close and move production to Mexico, simply to maximize their profits. This hurts workers and the communities they live in.”

Horwath brings local long-term care concerns to Queen’s Park

In her fight to end the seniors care crisis in Ontario, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath brought the difficult stories of families with loved ones in long-term care to Queen’s Park today. Horwath demanded that the Wynne Liberals immediately expand the scope of the Wettlaufer inquiry to include systemic issues in long-term care that families say are devastating seniors in care homes throughout the province -- understaffing, underfunding, and a lack of standards of care.

“This summer a woman named Mira came to Queen’s Park to tell the Liberal government about the tragic circumstances of her mother’s long term care facility in Sudbury,” said Horwath. “Mira told us about finding her mom after almost 17 hours in bed. No one had fed her, no one had helped her reach the bathroom, no one had even shifted her body so she didn’t get bed sores. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the awful stories loved ones tell about family members in care.”